Yesterday esteemed B/R writer E. Spencer Kyte made an impassioned argument that the UFC fan has become so “spoiled” by it's recent success that it hasn't been able to appreciate the "quality" of their last four cards.
While I respect the hell out of Mr. Kyte, he comes off like a complete twit and I feel compelled to take him to the woodshed. Which equally irradiates me as I had an article about Megumi Fujii I would much rather be typing right now.
The UFC has cornered the market on the best fighters in the world. They have put on some of the best cards of the last 10 years, and have showcased some of the greatest champions the sport has ever (and likely ever will be) seen.
As such they have built a high level of expectation among the fans of the sport. With a stable of bankable stars like Brock Lesnar, Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Randy Couture, etc. etc. etc.
If you sense a but coming on here it is.
Dana White runs a business. And fundamentally you just have to do one thing to be successful. Make your customers happy.
Your customers expect high quality MMA. They pay between 49.99 and 54.99 every event to see it. This is what they expect.
For right or wrong this is the bar they've set for themselves, with events like UFC 100. Fans expect not just star power, but compelling matchups. Things that make them excited to hand money to you.
That's not an unreasonable thing to ask a promotion as successful as the UFC.
Rather than do this however, the UFC have turned out some of the worst cards top-to-bottom on paper in the ZUFFA era. Fans have understandable not turned out with the same ferocity, and PPV buys are hovering just above the toilet.
While we can argue for weeks about what makes a great fight card. What E. Spencer Kyte's piece is really saying is this.
It's your fault, your to blame because your not as esoteric as he is. You shouldn't expect what the UFC has given you over the past 10 years. That was too good and you need to mitigate your expectations.
To tell that to a consumer is frankly like farting in church.
Dana White (having more sense then to infuriate the fans) says it's the media's fault for not covering the events.
As a member of the media we cover what will get us exposure. If you put on a crappy card, It's not going to generate buzz, no buzz no reads. We're not a charity.
I say it's the UFC's fault because ultimately they're the ones charging a full dollar for 25 cent cards, good excuses or not.
While ESK would probably counter with the always fashionable injury card.
We all may point fingers at each other, but at the end of the day, you don't start pointing fingers at all unless something is terribly wrong.
And that's the real story. Can the UFC provide compelling matchups more that one card out of ten going into the future? The market is flush with good promotions, and talent is thinner then ever.
This is above all else a what have you done for me lately society. And sorry Dana, even the UFC isn't immune.